Practice Etiquette

​​​​​​​Before you attend your first swim practice, please read through this practice etiquette.

Golden Rules

  • Look before entering the pool.
  • Do NOT push off the wall in front of another swimmer who is about to do a turn or push off.
  • Follow the workout. Respect your teammates and coaches.
  • Yelling and/or abusive language will not be tolerated. You will be asked to leave the workout.
  • If you cannot stay on the pace times without the use of fins and/or paddles, move down to another lane where you can.
  • Warm-up is meant for warming up; not racing.

Lane Selection

  • Select an appropriate lane to swim in.
  • There are 4-6 lanes. The slowest lane is near the wall and they progressively get more advanced. It is not uncommon to find former national swimmers in the fastest lanes. If you are unsure of which lane to select, ask a coach for assistance. If you are new to a lane, introduce yourself and swim near the end to get a feel for the speeds of the group. This order will vary greatly depending on the nature of the workout (eg: stroke vs freestyle).
  • If you need to change lanes or have been asked to change lanes (at the coaches discretion), do so at the start of the next set. This should minimize confusion and prevent any disruption of the workout. 

Follow the Workout

  • If you are late, do not start at the beginning of the warmup; start at the point where your lane-mates are.
  • If for some reason you cannot do the set as described (eg: due to injury) stay out of your lane-mates way.


  • No passing mid-lane.
  • Leave AT LEAST 5 seconds after the swimmer in front of you has pushed off of the wall at the start of a set.
  • Do not follow too close (aka 'drafting’).
  • If you need to pass, indicate this by touching the foot of the swimmer ahead and they will allow you to pass them at the next turn.
  • You may need 10 seconds between swimmers for long sets.

Keep the Ends Clear

  • Keep the end of the lane clear for people to do their turns. If you need to skip a set or lap, stay out of the way.​​​​​​​

Communicate with the Coaches

  • The coaches are there to help.
  • Let them know if you want stroke correction or if want to be left alone one night.
  • Talk to them, and let them know what you like about the workouts.

​​​​​​​Communicate with your Lane-Mates

  • Be pleasant and courteous.
  • Get to know the people that you swim with.
  • If you are having a bad day, do not take it out on your lane-mates or coaches.
  • Remember a polite reminder of swim etiquette will go a long way to lane harmony.